Results tagged “institute for fiscal studies” from Coventry Telegraph - Talking Politics

We're a nation of "politically correct" humourless killjoys, apparently.

So say those bemused by the hostile reaction to BBCTV's Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson's comments about last week's public sector strike.

I've since read humourless and politically motivated tirades against a "humourless" country not laughing at similar provocation by an insensitive, publicity-seeking celebrity ass.

Hard-working people - care assistants, street cleaners, teachers, firefighters - losing their jobs and thousands in their pensions?

Hilarious subject matter. No need for us to be po-faced. No harm meant. Just "satire".

No need, many appear to think too, to seriously challenge politicians' misinformation with an informed position on pensions, the national deficit, and debt.

A DIVIDED nation sees people living worlds apart.

In Coventry, 46-year-old George Sands supports vulnerable children in care because of abuse or neglect.

The residential children's worker earns £25,000 after 25 years' service.

In the City of London, FTSE100 directors have awarded themselves 49 per cent pay rises in the last year.

In his retirement, it is estimated George could receive £9,500-a-year less than the £23,000 he would get under current pensions arrangements.

Proposed government pensions changes - including three per cent rises in workers' contributions - could see George paying £444-a-year more into his pension from a salary already frozen for two years.

George, aged 46, worries he and his wife will have less to manage his care in old age, with deteriorating arthritis a real fear.

In the City of London, the taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland - bailed out by taxpayers after the 2008 financial collapse - reportedly wants to award bankers another £500million in bonuses.

GIGANTIC myths about the economic crisis gathered pace in Britain before and after last year's election delivered no conclusive result.

Worsening economic turbulence is exposing those myths, as the Labour party meets in Liverpool this week.

These almighty myths would have us believe a historic national deficit - and now rising unemployment and economic stagnation - were mainly created by "big government".

Add to that "benefits scroungers", immigrants, and bloated public sector workers with "gold plated pensions".

The myth makers also tell us that simply cutting the state and state "interference" will spontaneously free entrepreneurial "wealth creators" to create jobs for all.

The irony is it was precisely such unregulated free markets which caused the recession, as the world's financiers grabbed vast personal profits.

Recession saw the UK's deficit spiral into double figures, adding to a historic debt accumulated by both main parties over decades.

The pre-recession structural deficit was accepted to be a managable 2.5 per cent of national income. Institute for Fiscal Studies data shows it was average for major world economies.

Labour's spending plans had been backed by David Cameron's Tories in opposition. Public sector spending had not risen above 40 per cent of national income, the same level as under Margaret Thatcher.

I put these key points to leading Tories including chancellor George Osborne last year. They still get lost in the narrow media debate, amid Punch and Judy politics.

A resurgent global financial storm is now once more exposing governments' inability to act.

Labour's failure to regulate casino banking in a credit bubble saw them kicked out with their second worst defeat since 1918.

Today Labour proclaims it wants to move away from the Reaganite/Thatcherite free market liberalism it embraced in government.

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